Shoot by Lighting or Scene Type Settings on Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Cameras

By Julie Adair King

The Shoot by Lighting or Scene Type option on the Canon Rebel T3 or T3i might be better named “Eliminate Color Cast,” because that’s what it’s designed to do: remove unwanted color casts that can occur when the camera makes a white balance misstep.

In short, white balancing has to do with the fact that every light source emits its own color cast — candlelight, a warm hue; flash, a slightly cool hue, and so on. The camera’s White Balance setting is the mechanism that compensates for the color of the light so that colors in the scene are rendered accurately.

Normally, the camera uses automatic white balancing in the scene modes, and things turn out just fine. But if a scene is lit by different types of light, each throwing their own color bias into the mix, the camera sometimes gets confused, and colors may be out of whack.


In the advanced exposure modes, you deal with color casts by changing the White Balance setting. You can’t access the White Balance setting in the scene modes, but in all scene modes except Night Portrait, you can use the Shoot by Lighting or Scene Type option to tell the camera to balance colors for a specific light source.

You can choose from the following settings:

  • Default: Colors are balanced for the light source automatically.

  • Daylight: For bright sunlight.

  • Shade: For subjects in shade.

  • Cloudy: For shooting under overcast skies.

  • Tungsten Light: For incandescent and tungsten bulbs; not available for Landscape scene mode.

  • Fluorescent Light: For subjects lit by fluorescents (although this may not be suitable for some compact-fluorescent lights — try tungsten if you get bad results). Also not available for Landscape scene mode.

  • Sunset: Helps capture brilliant sunset colors, especially when you’re shooting into the sun. (P.S.: Don’t aim the lens directly at the sun or look through the viewfinder directly into the sun. You can damage the camera and hurt your eyes.)